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The way forward

(16 Posts)
MiceElf Wed 10-Oct-12 15:38:37

I am going to quote from a recent article by Dr Donal Dorr in which he makes some pointers for the way in which churches should move forward in the spirit of Vatican II. It would be interesting to hear the responses of others.

'For me the most radical change brought about by Vatican II has been in my idea of god. When I was a teenager I was told, and believed that that god would have me burning in hell for all eternity if I dallied for a moment with a sexual image or thought. Our view of god now is not as a harsh and legalistic judge but as the astonishingly compassionate mystery.

VTican 11 has helped me to appreciate how the Holy Spirit works in the hearts and cultures of Bhuddists, Hindus, Muslims and those people who practise primal religion. I am deeply moved by the Bhuddists approach to compassion, by the emphasis of the Eastern religions on meditation and mindfulness, by the prominence given by Muslims to the community and by the sense of closeness of the primal religions both to their ancestors and to nature.

It has provided me with a basis for for engaging in an open two way dialogue with humanists and Marxists of all kinds.

My task in the world is to bring about a world of justice, respect for human rights, reconciliation and community building all animated by a generous and realistic love.'

annodomini Wed 10-Oct-12 15:59:52

I like the emphasis on what different faiths - and non-faiths - have in common and what they can learn from each other, rather than on their differences, 'open dialogue' being the operative words. Thanks, Mice.

Bags Wed 10-Oct-12 16:21:35

An interesting approach. My father liked the results of the second vatican council very much. He felt it was trying to move things forward.

I'm a little puzzled why Marxism is mentioned and no other political outlooks. Is that significant in some way?

MiceElf Wed 10-Oct-12 16:43:56

Simply the constraints of space I suppose although I cannot speak for the author. I assume it's because Marxism was a philosophy / position that was often feared by many.

Lilygran Wed 10-Oct-12 17:00:29

I think one of the most heartening developments since Vat2 has been the reaching out to other denominations and other faiths in the way Dorr describes. I've certainly learned a lot over the last few years. I'm reading an extremely interesting book at the moment 'The Jewish Annotated New Testament' Levine and Brettier which is very helpful in explaining some bits of the NT since it tracks a lot of stuff back to the Torah and fits it into Jewish scholarship.

petallus Wed 10-Oct-12 17:08:37

Some years ago I was browsing through my Buddhist magazine when I noticed an advert on the back for an interfaith weekend at a place called Turvey Abbey, a Roman Catholic religious order. Benedictine I think. I went along with a Christian friend and it was a very enlightening, heartening and uplifting experience.

I found Turvey Abbey to be a very spiritual place and I think through my attendances there I went some way to coming to terms with the anger and hurt I felt towards the Christian church.

The interfaith movement seems to be flourishing. Another time we had a Sufi along with a Buddhist nun and of course Christians at the weekend. All were most welcoming to atheists by the way. We were advised, if we did not believe in God, to 'translate' the term into something we found meaningful.

MiceElf Wed 10-Oct-12 17:10:30

Thank you for that recommendation Lilygran. I shall put it on my Kindle if possible and on my Christmas list if not.

petallus Wed 10-Oct-12 17:12:56

I haven't been to Turvey Abbey for some years, having used up all their courses. However, if anybody is interested, they have a website.

MiceElf Wed 10-Oct-12 17:21:03

Petallus, the Benedictines are in the forefront of interfaith dialogue. I'm glad it was a good experience.

I don't know if you have come across the Findhorn community in Scotland where there is a commitment to live a spiritual life - personal and communal. This community is ecologically, culturally and spiritually sustainable, an alternative to the profit oriented, consumeristic violent world we live in. It's worth checking out.

jeni Wed 10-Oct-12 18:03:26

Must look at the website. Where is it?
The abbey, not the web!

MiceElf Wed 10-Oct-12 18:05:23

North East Scotland on the Moray Firth coast

Greatnan Wed 10-Oct-12 18:14:41

When my daughter was attending NA (Narcotics Anonymous) she was supposed to follow the 12 Steps. In the up-to-date version, reference to god is replaced by 'a higher power'. I don't recognise any higher power, so I certainly couldn't follow that step. This reminded me of Dave Allen's 'May your god go with you'. Again, I have no god, so I have to go alone!
I don't understand why so many people feel the need of something outside of themselves to make sense of life. As far as I am concerned, it just is!

jeni Wed 10-Oct-12 18:23:52

micetoo far away!

Ana Wed 10-Oct-12 18:25:18

The Findhorn Community has cropped up a lot in recent years - it's been referred to in a great many of the articles and books I've read on various subjects (mainly to do with conservation, alternative lifestyles etc.). Why is it that these communities seem to flourish so well in Scotland, I wonder...?

Lilygran Wed 10-Oct-12 18:34:54

I think it helps to be in a quiet, beautiful, remote place if you are trying any kind of spiritual exercises. I think that's the reason for locating abbeys and retreat houses in places like the north of Scotland. But it isn't essential. I love Walsingham and although that is a bit remote and I find it beautiful it isn't quiet or peaceful during the height of the pilgrimage season. More like Blackpool on a Bank Holiday.

petallus Wed 10-Oct-12 18:52:47

Turvey Abbey is in Bedford.

I've been to Walsingham a couple of times, never Findhorn though I've heard very good reports.